So you’ve completed your aged care course, what’s next?
It’s time to put your skills to good use.
Whether you’re applying for a job in an aged care facility, community center, or as a personal care assistant, you’ll notice that the major requirements are the same. You’ll need to submit a resume together with a cover letter and pass a job interview.
This means that you’d better make a good impression with those 3 requirements if you’re serious about starting a career as an aged care worker. You may have the right aged care qualifications and the necessary skills, but you still need to show the hiring manager that you’re the one they’re looking for.
How can I strengthen my resume?
First of all, make sure that it has the information hiring managers look for in every resume. This includes your background, the qualifications you hold, skills, and any relevant work or volunteer experience you have.
According to a government survey, 53% of aged and disability care employers prefer candidates who have a certificate III level of training. If you’ve taken up the Certificate III in Aged Care, then you already hold a valid qualification.
There are other courses you can take to add to your skillset. The Certificate III in Disability is ideal for supporting disabled children and adults, while the Certificate III in Home and Community Care is specific for residential settings.
80% of hiring managers also give high importance to how much practical experience you have. Work placement is extremely valuable, but it’s not enough to just say that you completed 240 placement hours. Your resume should also list the specific tasks you did during that time plus your achievements. This lets employers know that you have the core skills of a personal care worker, community care worker, personal care assistant, or any aged carer jobs and shows them what you can do for their organisation.
Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience yet. You can look for volunteer opportunities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and across Australia on the www.govolunteer.com.au website. For more tips on how to get an aged care position, read the guide “Getting an Aged Work Placement”.
How do I write a cover letter for aged care?
Your cover letter serves as the summary of your resume plus your personal traits. It is sometimes even used to measure how well you communicate with others, which is a key trait for personal support workers. A good cover letter covers the major reasons why you are fit for a position, but it should be short enough to be read in under a few minutes.
Having a good cover letter can also signal to your employer that you are passionate about being able to start a career in aged care.
By showing off your passion for this job, employers are more likely to think of you as a genuine candidate rather than an ordinary applicant who just wants any job they can get. So put some time into writing a cover letter!
Cover letters for aged care typically include the following:
1. Opening Statement
It’s important to make your intentions clear right away by stating the position you’re applying for in the beginning. Example:
“My name is Emma Brown and I would like to apply as a personal care worker at the Brisbane Centre for the Elderly.”
If the employer includes a job reference number in the job advertisement, add this to your cover letter too.
2. Background Introduction
Afterwards, you should describe your background starting with your qualification, previous responsibilities, and experience. Example:
“I currently hold the Certificate III in Aged Care and completed 240 hours of service earlier this year at the Greenfield Elderly Community Center. My daily responsibilities included organizing social activities, assisting in the hygiene of elderly clients, medication administration, and participating in their daily food preparations.”
If you have other relevant areas of expertise besides your qualification, you should also put it here. You can also add what you learned during other points of your life. Example:
“For the past 3 years, I have been looking after and providing companionship for my elderly father, which has given me additional experience in general and personal care. Being my dad’s constant companion while monitoring his health has taught me the importance of this type of service and strengthened my patience, understanding, and overall skills in caring for others. It was during this time that I decided to become a personal care assistant.”
Don’t forget to also describe your personal traits. Surveyed employers said that your work ethic and how well you work with others are particularly important when selecting new carers. Example:
“I believe that being an Aged Care worker is where I can focus my skills, energy, and compassionate nature to work as part of your team in providing personal care and high quality service.”
3. Closing Statement
End your cover letter strong with a suggestion on what you’d like to happen next. Example:
“I have attached my resume with more details on my qualifications. Please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to discussing the position with you soon.”
What questions will I get asked in the job interview?
Most job interviews consist of general questions and aged care-specific questions. Preparing how to answer them goes a long way towards showing how suitable you are for a position.
Interviews test your knowledge and personality. This means that both your answer and how you say it is important. You might have an amazing resume and cover letter, but hiring managers still want to see and hear why they should choose you. This is highly important, especially if you’re looking to land a care worker position — where communication skills are highly thought of.
For the complete list of the most common questions, check out the guide “Interview Questions and Interview Tips for Aged Care Jobs”.
You can start applying for jobs once you hold a valid qualification in aged or disability care.
You can apply for roles such as a personal care worker, personal care assistant, health care worker, and heaps more!
Aged care employers look for qualifications, work experience, and personality traits when reading resumes, cover letters, and conducting interviews. This means that you should put your best foot forward and make a good impression on all of them.
The competition is fierce, and sometimes a well-written resume or cover letter can spell all the difference.
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